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FSI scholars offer expert analysis and commentary on contemporary global issues.

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Protests demonstrate against Vladimir Putin outside a Russian-owned international investment bank in Budapest, Hungary.

President Zelenskyy Speaks to Stanford Students in Special Video Address

Lyubov Sobol, an activist and visiting scholar at CDDRL, explains why the success of Russia's pro-democracy movement is important for geopolitical stability.
The Supreme Court

Protecting Reproductive Health Information Health Information Post-Roe v. Wade

Michelle Mello warns that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end federal protections for abortion could also expose women's' personal health data in court.
Shinzo Abe speaking from a lectern

Reflections on the Assassination of Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

Abe was one of the most transformative political leaders in modern Japanese history, and his passing will unquestionably shake-up Japanese politics, says Kiyoteru Tsutsui

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David Lobell
Local people on rice terraces at Longji, Guilin, China.

Less air pollution leads to higher crop yields, Stanford-led study shows

News / June 1, 2022
New analysis shows crop yields could increase by about 25% in China and up to 10% in other parts of the world if emissions of a common air pollutant decreased by about half.
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Green corn and soybean field

Lasering In on Corn Fields

News / March 7, 2022
Mapping crops around the globe is key to estimating production and developing targeted management strategies. New research utilized data from NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) technology and developed an algorithm to distinguish between maize and other crops with high accuracy and produce crop maps across the globe.
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David Lobell holds up maize in a farm to show outcomes from different growing practices

David Lobell honored with 2022 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

News / January 24, 2022
Lobell’s groundbreaking work has advanced the world’s understanding of the effects of climate variability and change on global crop productivity.
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Dense rows of yellow corn under a blue sky

NASA Harvest Partners At Stanford Expand Lidar Applications To Create Wall-To-Wall Crop Type Mapping

News / January 21, 2022
NASA Harvest partners at Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE) recently published a study on their efforts integrating lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) and optical earth observation (EO) data to improve crop type mapping in areas with low training data availability.
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grain field

Growing Climate Solutions

Q&As / October 12, 2021
Stanford scientists discuss climate-smart agriculture
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Corn crops with a power plant in the background

Cleaner air has boosted U.S. corn and soybean yields, Stanford-led research shows

News / July 1, 2021
The analysis estimates pollution reductions between 1999 and 2019 contributed to about 20 percent of the increase in corn and soybean yield gains during that period – an amount worth about $5 billion per year.
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European grain yield stagnation related to climate change

News / February 20, 2015

The European Union led the world in wheat production and exports in 2014-15. Yet Europe is also the region where productivity has slowed the most. Yields of major crops have not increased as much as would be expected over the past 20 years, based on past productivity increases and innovations in agriculture.

Finding the causes of that stagnation is key to understanding the trajectory of the global food supply.

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Climate change could expand double cropping in the U.S.

News / February 5, 2015

In a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters, Stanford PhD student Christopher Seifert and professor David Lobell find that between 1988 and 2012, the area of farmland in the United States on which farmers were able to harvest two crops per year on the same plot of land grew by as much as 28 percent as a result of warmer temperatures and later fall freezes.

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A new crop modeling technique confirms that wheat yields are vulnerable to rising temperatures

News / December 22, 2014

To predict how agriculture will be affected by future climate change, scientists often rely on a single crop model – a computer simulation of how a specific crop’s yield responds to temperature changes. By combining 30 such models into a single study, and comparing each model against data from existing experimental wheat fields around the world, a team of researchers including Stanford professor David Lobell have developed a more powerful and accurate way to predict future wheat yields.

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U.S. corn yields growing more vulnerable to heat and drought

News / May 1, 2014
U.S. corn yields are growing more sensitive to heat and drought, according to research by environmental scientist David Lobell. Farmers are faced with difficult tradeoffs in adapting to a changing climate in which unfavorable weather will become more common.
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Big year for FSI's David Lobell

News / September 25, 2013
David Lobell was one of 24 MacArthur Fellows, for his research on the impact of climate change on crop production and food security. He was also named to Foreign Policy's list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013.
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David Lobell talks about heat and hunger at ASU

News / March 26, 2013
FSE associate director David Lobell delivers a lecture on "Heat and Hunger" as part of Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability's sustainability series. He discusses crop adaptation to climate change and what we understand, particularly as it relates to food security.
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Satellite data play critical role in understanding yield gaps

News / March 21, 2013
According to a new study by FSE's David Lobell, satellite data can play a critical role in understanding yield gaps and meeting future crop demand. Satellite data can help overcome spatial and temporal scaling issues that challenge simulation and experiment based analyses of yield gaps, and are more available and affordable than ever.
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Climate change adaptation: Lessons from 2012

News / September 14, 2012
The Chicago Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative hosted a series of comments on the drought, including one from FSE Associate Director and environmental earth system scientist David Lobell. For all of the talk about the need to adapt to climate change, we still know fairly little about two basic questions: what works best, and how much can adaptation deliver?
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Adapting agriculture to a warmer world

News / December 14, 2011
David Lobell, Assistant Professor in Stanford’s Department of Environmental Earth System Science, says that acknowledging the gaps in our understanding of climate change could help us to more effectively prepare the world’s food system for a warmer future.
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David Lobell named Google Science Communications Fellow

News / March 8, 2011
FSE Center Fellow David Lobell named one of 21 Google Science Communications Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the U.S.
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David Lobell awarded the 2010 Macelwane Medal for significant contributions to the geophysical sciences

News / September 3, 2010
FSE Center Fellow David Lobell was among three recipients of the Macelwane Medal honored for significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist (less than 36 years of age). Established in 1961, the Macelwane Medal is awarded annually by the American Geophysical Union.
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Warmer temperatures pose major risks to food production in sub-Saharan Africa

News / February 11, 2010
Changes in temperature due to climate change over the next few decades will put considerable pressure on crop production in already vulnerable areas of sub-Saharan Africa, states a new study from Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment published this week in Environmental Research Letters.
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Bioelectricity promises more 'miles per acre' than ethanol, Science study finds

News / May 7, 2009
Researchers writing in the May 7th edition of the journal Science, including FSE's David Lobell, find that converting biomass to electricity is a more efficient way to power cars than converting it to ethanol.
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FSE researchers receive grant from Rockefeller Foundation to study climate threats to African agriculture

News / April 1, 2008
Researchers at FSE have received a 3-year, $350,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study the potential effects of climate change on agriculture and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Rockefeller funded work will seek to assess climate threats to staple food crops at a country level, quantify the sources of uncertainty inherent in these assessments, and determine what implications shifts in crop climates have for agricultural adaptation and genetic resources preservation - with the end goal of helping prioritize investments in agricultural development and food security under a changing climate.
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